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What Regulates the Regulatory T cells? with Jessica Cortez

Whether it's Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes, Lupus, or Crohn's Disease, autoimmunity is a rapidly growing problem that traditional pharmaceuticals have failed to completely cure. While these diseases have very different symptoms, they all have the same root cause -- the body’s immune system is attacking its own healthy organs. Lurking within ourselves are a group of T cells called regulatory T cells that have the power to suppress immune function. These cells have huge potential to be engineered and utilized as a platform to cure any autoimmune disease. Unfortunately, they easily lose their suppressive abilities and can even exacerbate autoimmunity if handled incorrectly. Looking to stabilize regulatory T cells, Jessica and her colleagues perform a CRISPR screen to map which genes are responsible for maintaining their suppressive function. Using this data, Jessica takes the first step to bring this incredibly powerful cell type to the clinic to help millions of patients suffering from a myriad of diseases.

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